3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Psychoanalysis/mysticism fuel Davies' vivid Deptford tale,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Manticore (Paperback)
(Those of you who desire a bullet review of this novel ought to skip my academic excrement and read the last paragraph down there... thank you) Though Davies' Deptford trilogy has received its share of publicity in recent years, I still find that many fans of modern literature have ignored this series of Canadian stories. Perhaps readers are hesitant to pick up any of the three books, for fear that they must read the entire trilogy to realise the extent of Davies' themes, yet nothing could be further from the truth. The Manticore (second in the Deptford series) was my first experience with Davies' rich, penetrating prose and certainly steered my interest to his other novels.
The tale of David Stauton and his search for self-realization begins in Zurich, where he has committed himself to Jungian analysis under the guide of a capable, palpably European psychotherapist. Readers who shy from the realm of psychology may be a bit put off by this doctor-patient interplay as it frames the majority of the novel's dialogue. Rest assured, however, that Davies' extensive knowledge and illustration of Jungian archetypes is not merely an embellishment, but serves as the catalyst for the protagonist's evolution. His self-discovery builds to a poignant, surreal climax under Davies' capable hand. By the novel's end the reader feels as if a part of himself is invested in David Stauton's character and his ascension.
Essentially, Davies is a synthesis of intellectual energy and damn good story-telling. The novel's references are revealing, but not essential to its development. Each of The Manticore's many characters is unique and multi-dimentional in his or her own way, and there are plenty of humorous incidents to keep the half-attentive readers engaged. If you find yourself wondering what becomes of David Stauton, however, you're out of luck. The Deptford Trilogy does not pick up where it left off, though this can be viewed as a loss AND a gain, assuming you enjoy this novel as much as I did.